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Switzerland Has Stated That It Will Impose A Restriction On Russian Cryptocurrency Assets


According to a Financial Times report published on Friday, the Swiss federal government intends to freeze crypto assets owned by Russian persons and corporations kept within Swiss borders.

The freeze would be in addition to the sanctions already imposed by the EU in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to Swiss Finance Minister Guy Parmelin, 223 Russians, including close colleagues of President Vladimir Putin, have had their bank accounts and physical assets frozen by Switzerland in the last week, according to the Financial Times. The cryptocurrency bans constitute an additional consequence in addition to the EU sanctions.

According to a senior finance ministry official, freezing crypto assets was required because Switzerland wants to maintain the integrity of its blockchain business. According to a report by CV VC, a Swiss venture capital firm, as of December 2021, there would be around 1,128 blockchain startups based in Switzerland or the nearby principality of Liechtenstein.

The European Union unveiled proposals on Wednesday to restrict Russia’s ability to avoid economic sanctions by utilizing cryptocurrency. “We are taking steps, particularly with regard to cryptocurrencies or crypto assets that should not be used to circumvent the financial sanctions imposed by the 27 EU countries,” France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated.


Calls for exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance to prohibit and freeze Russian access to bitcoin have highlighted the transnational nature of digital assets. While an exchange may freeze or restrict access, cryptocurrency stored in cold storage or a self-custodial wallet would be more difficult to confiscate or seize—unless its holders attempted to move it through restricted channels.

“If someone holds their crypto key themselves then, wherever they are, it’s going to be virtually impossible to identify them,” the official said.